Showing posts from September 29, 2019

Five Obstacles to Happiness (and How to Overcome Them)

Mindfulness can help us maintain our well-being in the face of difficult situations.

By Mitch Abblett

“You’re making Daddy late for work!” I said, standing over my then-three-year-old daughter with the winter coat I was insisting she wear.

“No! I’m not wearing it!” Celia screamed. My anger surged. Thoughts of “I’m sick of this” and “She’s doing this on purpose” swept through my mind. I was scheduled to conduct a 9 a.m. parent training therapy session, and her resistance would make me late. Ironically, it was on “mindful parenting.”

Mindlessly, I pressed my agenda. Understandably, she pushed back. “NO!!” she yelled, dropping rag-doll-style to the kitchen floor.

I lost it. Bending down nose to nose with her, I yelled: “Celia! Put on your f&@#ing coat!”

She froze. I jammed the coat onto her, led her to the car, buckled her in, and drove to daycare. My daughter, usually chatty, was notably silent. Me? My cheeks burned red with the shame and self-doubt of a man completely convinced he was …

What Does it Mean to Love Someone?

What does it mean to love someone? In this heartwarming animated short film produced by Cecilia Baeriswyl and directed by Julio Pot, the dynamics of relationships are explored through an ordinary couple as they learn about the power of giving and receiving. Selected in more than 100 international festivals, this film is at once lighthearted and insightful.

If You’re in Danger, Will Bystanders Help?

The bystander effect only tells part of the story.

By Elizabeth Svoboda

Almost every psychology student knows about Kitty Genovese, the 28-year-old Queens woman who was stabbed to death in 1964. At the time, the New York Times reported that no one had lifted a finger to rescue her. Though that story was later debunked—some people did call the police or shout down the assailant—Genovese’s death provoked a flurry of research on what’s now called the bystander effect. According to decades of experiments, the more people who are observing someone in trouble, the less likely each person is to help.

Today, however, new studies are calling the bystander effect into question—and sketching a somewhat sunnier picture of human nature. Most recently, researchers from the U.K.’s Lancaster University, the University of Copenhagen, and elsewhere captured a series of real-life conflicts on surveillance cameras and found that at least one person in the vicinity came forward to help about 90 percent of t…

Sleep is Your Superpower!

How did you sleep last night? Sleep can be our number one defense to keeping us healthy, so, what can we do to turn on this superpower and finally get motivated to get to bed!

What if I told you that you have the power to lower your chances of getting in a car accident, improve your ability to fight off getting sick, and decrease your risk factors for Alzheimer’s? Better yet, what if I told you that you don’t have to pay for this superpower and it’s something you already like to do? 

What is this superpower? Sleep.

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Why Busyness is Actually Modern Laziness

"Action addiction is an advanced sort of laziness. It keeps us busily occupied with tasks. The busier we keep ourselves, the more we avoid being confronted with questions of life and death. As we keep ourselves occupied with tasks, important or not, we avoid facing life. We keep a safe and comfortable distance to the issues that are sometimes hard to look at. Have we chosen the right career? Are we present enough with our children? Is our life purposeful?"

A Video Game to Cope with Grief

When Amy Green's young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, her undeniable grief was paired with immeasurable hope, resulting in the creation of a video game, "That Dragon, Cancer." In this Ted Talk, Amy shares how through tuning into moments of play and joy throughout her son's journey, she was able to find a way to acknowledge her pain without denying herself the mystery of grace. Click play to learn more about how Amy and her family's story is helping others facing similar struggles.

How Understanding Your Brain Can Help You Learn

A new book explains six keys to learning that can help anyone overcome barriers to success in school or in life.

By Jill Suttie

Recently, a close friend’s niece was having trouble graduating from college. She needed to pass a math class to graduate but wouldn’t take it because she feared flunking it. A belief that she just wasn’t “good at math” was keeping her stuck in graduation limbo, unable to move on with her life.

I know my friend’s niece isn’t the first person to be cowed by a math course or some other seemingly insurmountable barrier to success. Maybe someone gave you the message that you weren’t talented enough to succeed in a particular field; or you just didn’t have the confidence to persevere when you struggled.

Now, a new book, Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers by Jo Boaler, explains what’s wrong with this attitude. Boaler, a Stanford University math professor, argues that people can learn just about anything once they understand how their brains work and …

The Art of Freezing Time!

There is something powerful for all of us in the work of artists who create pieces that will disappear forever in a few hours! Explore the fascinating world of ice sculptures and their magical ability to freeze time—even summer!

What if you could freeze time, if only for a moment? These artists have fallen in love with the process, capturing moments in ice and revealing another level of wonder for us all, before those moments disappear forever.

By Sam Burns

The Rise in Giving Across Africa

"Douglas Ng'ang'a stands in the middle of the "slum library" he runs. Only he doesn't take credit for the 3,000 books housed in his childhood home in Nairobi's Mathare Valley. "The books just showed up," he says. Well, not exactly. His neighbors brought them. Ng'ang'a funds the library by working as a driver. He started the collection with 200 of his own books. Members of the community spread the word through social media and pitched in. In Kenya, the generosity that led to the library isn't an exception. Each year, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) compiles a World Giving Index, and the 2017 rankings list Kenya as the third most generous nation behind Myanmar and Indonesia." This story from NPR shares more.

Should Schools Allow Mental Health Days?

By Hansa D. Bhargava, MDBoard-certified pediatrician

Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more anxious kids in my pediatric practice. I recently saw a 15-year-old patient who had been experiencing “shaking” episodes. Initially, I was worried that it could be seizures, but after a thorough evaluation and a deep conversation, it was apparent that she was having anxiety attacks. She was a very stressed 10th grader who had too much on her plate.

She’s not the only one who is experiencing anxiety. Our nation’s statistics are showing that anxiety is on the rise in young people, as is depression, and on an even bleaker note, suicide. In fact, suicide rates are up by 30% in age 10-17 over the last 10 years, according to several recent studies.

What is going on? What has contributed to this startling trend of our kids having more emotional and mental health issues?

It may be a number of factors. Our kids seem to be caught in a perfect storm of hectic scheduling of sports and activities, ramped up aca…

The Danger of Blaming Shootings on Mental Illness

By Seth J. Gillihan, PhDClinical psychologist

We are all horrified when a shooting happens. We cannot begin to imagine what goes on in the mind of someone who would plan and execute the violent deaths of innocent people just going about their lives. Only a truly and devastatingly pathological person is capable of such acts.

But to label that person as “mentally ill” doesn’t help – and in fact, can do a good deal of harm.

The problem begins with the misuse of the term, “mental illness.” Though the term is meant to refer to diagnosable psychological conditions, in this context, it’s being expanded to include hateful and twisted thinking of people who endorse radical fringe political or religious beliefs and see violence as a necessary means to shape the world they envision. Many of these people have no apparent diagnosable condition. Blaming mass shootings on a problem in someone’s head is kind of like saying that weather causes hurricanes—while technically true, it’s not very useful for u…

Therapy: It's Probably Not What You Think

If therapy makes you think of lying on a couch talking about your childhood, you may be in for a surprise. Real-world therapy has very little in common with what you may have seen on TV.

1/15 Myth: It's All About Your MotherIf therapy makes you think of lying on a couch talking about your childhood, you may be in for a surprise. Real-world therapy has very little in common with fictional scenes on TV. Although discussing the past may be helpful in some situations, most current therapies focus on solving problems in the present and future. Swipe to advance 2/15 Fact: It's All About ToolsTherapy provides tools for solving problems and enhancing quality of life, says psychologist Parinda Khatri, PhD. These tools may include relationship skills, anger management, or techniques for controlling thoughts and actions. "You don't have to go into past issues," Khatri tells WebMD. "You can be very focused on the present and specific problems you are targeting."

Burned Out Doctors Are More Prejudiced

A new study shows that burned out doctors are more likely to be biased toward their black patients⁠—but the reverse is true, too.

By Jill Suttie

If you are a black person in America, you have a greater chance of receiving subpar health care. You are more likely to have less access to health care, receive less treatment for pain, have worse outcomes in treatment, and experience less compassionate attention from physicians.

Are there ways to reduce this bias? Yes—and a new study suggests that addressing physician burnout may be one of them.

More than half of U.S. physicians are struggling with burnout, which is defined by exhaustion, cynicism, callousness, and diminished efficacy. Burnout doesn’t just hurt the doctors themselves, though. Research shows it also hurts the quality of patient care.

This new study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that some patients are hurt more than others by physician burnout, by lowering resistance to racial prejudice. “W…